Wastefellow

Dublin producer takes beats, samples and sounds somewhere new.

 

Photographed for State's Faces by Olga Kuzmenko

What was it that attracted you to electronica in the first place?

As a listener, it’s something I've always listened to. Radiohead and Björk were some of the first music I got actively into when I was younger. A lot of their work is pretty electronic, so I guess properly delving into that side of music was a natural progression from where I started. New sounds and textures are a big part of what excites me as a listener, and there's a potentially limitless scope within electronic music to create new sounds and totally transform familiar ones, so that's probably a big part of why I like it. 

What attracted me to making it feels like an equally natural progression. I've been recording my own music at home for years now, and most of this was based around a guitar and a vocal, with weird bits of sounds and effects mixed in. In the last few years, I got more heavily in to hip hop and electronic music, and these weird sounds and effects started to come more and more into the foreground, so I thought, why not try make some music where they were the focus. 

 

With regard to how you build your arrangements, do you find that a complex or simple enough task?

It's funny, it either all comes out in a rush, or it's like pulling teeth. Either I go from the initial idea to an almost finished track pretty much in one sitting, or after that first idea is down, it will be short sessions of work separated by weeks (sometimes months) where I can barely listen to what I have done. I wish I could find a middle ground. Regardless, in either situation, the last 5% of the track is pretty much always a nightmare to pin down.

 

How have you found the homegrown production scene in Ireland? Would you call it welcoming?

The scene here is amazing! Speaking just in terms of producers there are people pushing boundaries in every conceivable direction. There are way too many to list them all, but heads like Clu (recent MOOD EP still on repeat ), Ellll, Nxstalgic, Shrieken, Ozwald & Bad Bones are some of the best making tunes anywhere at the moment. Of course that feeling extends to the scene in Ireland as a whole, I know it's been said to death, but the amount of excellent groundbreaking music being made here at the moment is incredible. Speaking as a fan of music in general, it's a really exciting time. 

Welcoming is definitely the word! I've only poked my head out of my bedroom in the last year, so I can only properly speak on Dublin, but there is a really supportive scene here that extends beyond any single genre. People are just excited to be making and listening to music, going to gigs, putting on gigs, collaborating and helping each other out. There's definitely a sense that when one succeeds, all succeed. It really is a great time to be in to music. It's a shame the industry here doesn't exist on a scale large enough to give so many bands and artists the support needed to succeed commercially, but that's certainly not stopping anybody from making amazing music, and there's definitely a potential for growth in the right direction.

 

Do you feel there's enough scope to expand on the work you've done over the past year, whether that be on stage or in the studio?

Well, I definitely hope so! After releasing my EP at the start of May, pretty much all of my focus went straight to the stage, as I hadn't really considered how Wastefellow would work live before then. Gigging pretty constantly since the summer has got the show to a place where I'm happy with the core of how it works. In 2017, playing outside of Dublin will be the first step in expanding what we're doing live. We have our first such date at Quarter Block Party in Cork at the start of February. Adding a few more people on stage to the mix will become a big part later on in the year, as new material starts to come out. At the moment it's myself, drums and live visuals. In studio terms, I've been properly writing new Wastefellow material for the last four months or so, and it's been going really well. I think there's a lot of scope to expand on my sound, as I feel I'm still only hinting at the beginnings of what that could be. So far, the new stuff is definitely moving forwards from what I've done before, but some of it takes that in a different direction. Some tracks put more emphasis on the vocals, so that things take on more of a pop influence, although it probably still falls a long way from most people's definition of pop.

 

If there was one thing you could change about 2016, what would it be?

I would have stretched summer out by another three months. It was a very good time this year. Hopefully in a couple of years time Das Donald and his pals will have accelerated Climate Change to a point where a six month summer is the norm, so I'm not too bummed out really. 

 

“Wastefellow is a wavy dude. I fuck with his shit heavy..” (Tebi Rex)
“We could not love Wastefellow more and we try and make it to all of his shows, he is honestly doing something so special in our opinion…..” (Vernon Jane)